Branding and Identity

Darlene Jackson (aka DJ Lady D) Master Talk

Darlene Jackson, aka DJ Lady D, is hailed as “Chicago’s House Music Queen” by Chicago Magazine and has toured North America, Europe, Asia and Russia as an international DJ, producer, remixer and A&R. She has worked with the Chicago Chapter’s Urban Outreach committee and participated in advocacy efforts with state legislators in Springfield, Illinois.     


Many small communities struggle with how to differentiate themselves to attract visitors. Learn how two downtowns took inspiration from their history to look toward the future and create interactive storytelling programs and a roadmap for the future.

Flatiron NoMad Rebrand & Website Initiative

With the BID boundary expansion and the continued challenges presented by the pandemic, district stakeholders and audiences need the Parntership’s focus and resources more than ever. Through a clear, compelling and distinct brand positioning strategy and graphic identity, the organization is poised to tap into the expertise and energy of stakeholders.

Not Magic – Realistic Steps to Excellent Event Branding

Learn a step-by-step process for event branding that you can apply to your own projects right away. Learn how to dive into design thinking from a place manager’s perspective, offering support and consideration of details like incorporating sponsors, creating cohesive looks across several events and place branding vs. event branding. 

Changing Cultures, Brands and Names

As communities and districts evolve, place management organizations must follow suit. This panel will explore initiating and managing change from the inside/out on both the organizational and district level. The panelists will share the positives and challenges of renaming and expanding districts, rebranding efforts, expanding programmatic focus, measuring impact and building an inclusive organization culture.

Advancing Places: Downtown Recovery Strategies and Storytelling

Downtown leaders and marketing professionals around the world have been exploring new recovery strategies and storytelling. The depth and range of techniques used to elevate one’s district vary. In this session, speakers will share a variety of tactics from their own experiences and attendees can examine which approaches might work best for their district.

Crystal City to National Landing BID Rebrand

In 2019, the Crystal City BID expanded its boundaries by 70% and began the process of selecting a new name and brand for the organization. The brand needed to provide a cohesive sense of place that unified the downtown while still highlighting the existing neighborhoods of Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard that the BID now encompassed. The BID began a rebrand effort with the design firm Pentagram, but misconceptions around the new name necessitated extensive community engagement.

Advancing Places: Branding Strategies

There are many reasons for an organization to initiate a branding project, such as creating a new district, merging with another organization or overhauling dated brand material. This webinar will discuss how to approach and implement an organization-wide brand identity effort, from initial research on target audience to finalizing external marketing collateral. Hear from two downtown practitioners who have led branding projects in large and small organizations to gain valuable insights into how positioning and messaging can amplify a newly formed brand strategy.

Why So Serious? Follow the Fun to Find Your Voice

Could you pick your marketing voice out in a crowd, or do you sound like every other BID in your city? From newsletters, to signage, website copy and annual meeting videos, stop taking yourself so seriously and start having fun! Using both case studies and the basic tenets of improv comedy, BID communications experts will help make the mundane memorable.

Building Brand, Increasing Awareness, Celebrating Diversity: Financial District Online Interview Series

The Financial District Online Interview Series was created to leverage the diverse business and employee voices in Toronto’s Financial District to build the district’s brand, increase employee awareness of the Financial District BIA and celebrate the diversity of the area. Rather than create a new marketing/branding campaign, we used the people in the district to build the brand and speak to the strengths of the area while engaging area employees on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Placemaking Summit 2019 Opening Master Talk Presentations

Campus No. 805 is an award-winning adaptive re-use project that converted a former middle school campus into a mixed-use entertainment experience with multiple local breweries, restaurants, entertainment options and a public green space. Join us as we kick-off the inaugural Place Branding & Placemaking Summit with a multi-stop reception where attendees will get to experience why “school’s out forever” and full-time fun is the new curriculum at Campus No. 805.

Placemaking Summit 2019 Closing Master Talk Presentations

Closing Master Talk with Rob Robinson, Managing Principal, Urban Design Associates (Pittsburgh, PA), Anna Lowder, Co-Founder, Matter Design Co. (Montgomery, AL), Nick Lasater, Co-Owner & CEO, Rocket City Digital (Huntsville, AL), and Josh Yeager, Co-Founder, Bright Brothers Strategy Group (Philadelphia, PA).

Strengthen Your BID Through Branding

How do you brand something as complex as a city? Two BIDs talk through how their successful rebrands not only modernized and unified their identities, amplified the effectiveness of all of the organization’s endeavors, increased the recognition the BIDs got from stakeholders, and saved time and money – but also accomplished something larger. Rebranding positioned both BIDs to move from identifying their communities as a “place” to representing a “destination” – answering the questions “Why visit here?” “Why live here?” and “Why invest here?” No matter the size of your BID, these branding insights will make your work more effective.

Standout Place Branding

Change is constant in our line of work, and when change continually occurs in urban places and spaces, the stories that we tell about them must hold true. But how do you change the narrative of place and what does that entail? For urban place managers, branding a district / place conjures more questions than answers: how much will it cost? How many stakeholder groups do we need to involve and who? How long will it take? What are we actually branding? What is our brand? Will this even make a difference? In this panel, practitioners will detail the process of refreshing or enhancing a brand, including insights into the somewhat complicated and contentious process of deciding when to take action, how to set budgets, who to work with and how a brand refresh impacts more than just marketing collateral – it also affects the entire built environment and visitor experience.    

Strategic Re-branding & Communication Effort

With archaic branding that only focused on one main street, the Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) desperately needed to create a brand that encompassed their entire downtown, including residents, businesses, and other stakeholders. In addition, the brand elements needed to communicate to various audiences how they could interact, engage, and experience the place. The results of re-branding brought back many groups that were once alienated from downtown Tempe.

New Development Meets a Neglected Neighborhood

Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation developed a framework for investing in a place-based inclusive economic and social development strategy centered around Congress Heights. It was built on extensive community engagement with a broad variety of stakeholders, from large developers to local youth, to city economic development officials, to local civic association members and more.

College Town Summit 2019 Master Talk Slides

Slides from the master talks sessions featuring Downtown Durham Inc.’s Nichole Thompson, David Dixon from Stantec, and Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor / Packapalooza Planning Team Co-Chair, NC State University Division of Academic and Student Affairs.

Economic Development 101 Tale of Three Cities – Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Haven

The urban place management organizations in New Haven, Milwaukee, and Cleveland all developed unique strategies to enhance economic development in their downtowns. They took different approaches (board retreat, organizational strategic plan, BID renewal and satisfaction survey) to identify their new economic development focus. New Haven focused on retail and storefronts, Milwaukee on office and new businesses, and Cleveland on business recruitment and retention.

Historic Preservation Basics for Downtown Districts

Confused about the historic preservation lingo and tax credits? Don’t know the difference between the National Register and a locally designated landmark? Wondering why design guidelines for matching grants for storefront rehab matter, and why the Secretary of the Interior has standards that should be followed when rehabbing historic properties? This panel will clear it all up for you in a snappy presentation with a host of handouts.

City of Arcades

FOR Cardiff has struggled to identify its USP and wanted to address this by using one of the city’s best assets to attract new and old visitors, the beautiful arcades. They utilized FC Ambassadors to gather feedback from businesses, researched other independent shopping campaigns, and identified a need to first win-back Cardiff shoppers who were already aware of the arcades and encourage new visitors and customers.

Dupont Circle BID Brand Launch & Implementation

The Dupont Circle BID catalyzed renewal of the area’s public infrastructure through $25 million in streetscape upgrades and an innovative plaza deck over an avenue dividing the retail core. Flowing from Dupont Circle, it will be an exciting, programmable gathering space for the entire city. Its marketing roll-out includes a content-rich website, social media platforms, colorful street light banners, monthly newsletters, transit advertising, a neighborhood guide, and materials for retail brokers.

50th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

This 3-day art festival takes place in the streets of Downtown a.k.a. the heart of Tempe. A .42-mile radius that spans from one of few Arizona reservoirs, Tempe Town Lake, to University Drive bordering the Arizona State University campus. One of our organization’s goal is to curate diverse and impactful experiences that cultivate community engagement, which is a major factor in why the Downtown Tempe BID produces the Tempe Festival of the Arts in-house.

Homemade In Downtown

Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. (DTSF) and local advertising agency, Fresh Produce, collaborated to create a comprehensive marketing campaign that featured co-op advertising opportunities for DTSF business members. Strong communication between DTSF, Fresh Produce, and members – as well as support from key stakeholders – made it possible to develop creative that pleased the large majority of members, and led to high satisfaction among participating businesses.

Old Town Scottsdale Rebrand

The Old Town Scottsdale Rebrand started as a straightforward marketing and communications assignment to promote the Old Town area to in-state residents for the purpose of increasing local foot traffic. The perception was that Old Town was too touristy and didn’t offer much for our local residents. What began as a simple marketing strategy of how to best present Old Town’s best offerings turned into a much deeper brand exploration that would redefine a city.

Atlanta Downtown: CAP/ADID’s New Look

After years of feeling dissatisfied with a challenging and uninspiring organizational logo, paired with a need to redesign an aging website, Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (CAP/ADID) made the decision to undergo a comprehensive rebranding process. It created a unifying master brand, Atlanta Downtown (ATL DTN, for short), under which CAP and ADID fall, allowing for a consumer-facing identity and two visually consistent logos that represent CAP and ADID.

Welcome to Capitol Hill Placemaking Video

With recent developments in our BID boundaries, we decided that it was time to consider filming a new placemaking video that reflects the urban renaissance of Capitol Hill. We collaborated with a professional videographer, our Board of Directors, stakeholders, local businesses and constituents to produce a placemaking video that would help create a sense of place and set the tone for the message we want to convey to our audience, which is that Capitol Hill has something for everyone.

Stuart Mangrum Master Talk

A member of the Burning Man community since 1993, Stuart was one of the organization’s first year-round volunteers. In his current role he focuses on cultural development programs including public education, staff and volunteer training, and historical documentation. He is also deeply involved in the event’s creative direction, as co-author of the last three event themes and a collaborator in designing the Black Rock City experience.

Michael Berne Master Talk

Michael Berne is one of North America’s foremost experts in Downtown and Main Street retail. As President of MJB Consulting (MJB), he has worked in cities and towns across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and he has also spoken and written extensively on the subject. He is currently penning a chapter to a forthcoming volume on Suburban Downtowns and writing a book on “A New Retail Paradigm for the City Center.”

Mukul Malhotra Master Talk

Urban Designer Mukul Malhotra develops innovative solutions for the new American city. As a Principal at MIG, Inc. and Director of MIG’s San Antonio office, his award-winning designs have created thriving downtowns and historic districts as well as livable new communities and university campuses. His work has inspired urban revitalization, multimodal connectivity, sustainability, community inclusivity, and preservation of historic and neighborhood character.

IDA’s Urban Place Management Narrative Toolkit

For decades urban place management professionals have been waking up each day, determined to improve their cities, strategically fill vacant buildings, activate public spaces, and more. They have had great success, but, too often their work goes unnoticed by the general public. IDA’s toolkit provides a framework for communicating IDA members commitment to shaping dynamic city centers all around the world. It includes key messages and facts about the downtown management industry.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance 3-tiered Marketing Campaign

Downtown Cleveland Alliance accomplished the goal of creating economic impact for their community through a strategic and innovative three-tiered marketing campaign involving the development of print and digital advertising, the production of an annual video, and the creation of native advertising content.

Growlifornia Activation

Downtown Fresno was dealt a heavy blow when the San Francisco Giants announced they were pulling their Triple-A team from the city after 17 years. The Fresno Grizzlies and downtown Fresno decided to embrace their core traits and idiosyncrasies, celebrating the elements that made them unique, proclaiming the community a “Growlifornia Republic” – a rally cry for downtown.

Downtown Rideau Mural Boxes Art Exhibit Tour

Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (DRBIA), in partnership with the City of Ottawa, expanded an initiative initially designed by the city as a project to reduce graffiti removal maintenance costs on utility boxes by vinyl wrapping them in a transit motif design. The D.R.B.I.A took the initiative to an entirely different level by building on its brand as Ottawa’s Arts, Fashion & Theatre District and turning the utility boxes into original works of art.

Lower Manhattan Restaurant Video Series

Lower Manhattan’s food scene, from the restaurants that perennially grace the pages of a Michelin guide to hole-in-the-wall gems that only locals know of, has quietly been booming. While publications like the Associated Press and Bloomberg News have taken notice, the perception of the neighborhood as an after-hours ghost town lingers. To address that misconception and to increase awareness of the breadth of restaurants that call Lower Manhattan home, the Alliance created a monthly video series.

The MARTA Makeover Project

The Five Points MARTA Station Makeover project is an effort led by Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District to evaluate, design, and execute creative placemaking enhancements for Atlanta’s south-central business district. Because Five Points station is often a person’s entry point into Downtown Atlanta, this project offers an array of tactics to improve the experience and foster positive emotional responses to this public space for range of population segments.